Eve’s Chocolate Cake (Flourless and Gluten-free)

June 4, 2010


Would you believe me if I told you that this absolute beauty of a chocolate cake only needed four ingredients? It’s also the perfect cake for those who are gluten intolerant or allergic to nuts (or *gasp* both) and it uses minimal butter and sugar. Most importantly, this is one of the best damn chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted.


I’m not entirely sure who Eve was exactly but oh gosh, do I love her! And I love this cake! I knew I had to make it when I perused through French by Bistro Moncur’s Damien Pignolet, and my greedy sugar-deprived eyeballs hit the page. It was adapted from the original recipe by Eve Knottenbelt, author of the 1971 published The Australian Health Food Cookbook. I’m sure he, along with legions of grateful chocolate lovers, are forever in her debt.


There’s so much to love about this that if it were legal, I’d marry it. It only needs four basic ingredients – eggs, butter, chocolate and a little sugar, which makes this completely gluten-free and nut-free. And when you chill the raw batter, it comes out as an incredibly light and airy mousse. Which means, if there ever was an appropriate time to lick the bowl*, this has to be it. I’ll forgive you if you prefer to take the bowl of batter to a more private place for sexy times but believe me. Bake it. Because the reward is more fabulous. And because you love me and trust me. Plus you can wow at how this airy mousse magically turns into a crumbly cake after a spell in the oven.

*Citrus and Candy would like to proclaim that licking the cake bowl is a perfectly legitimate practice and that one should indulge in this delicious act as often as they want. I.e. ALL THE TIME.




It bakes beautifully and looks perfect when it comes out of the oven. If only I could too. Out of bed of course, not the oven. But the real magic is when it starts to sink and shrink from the sides of the cake pan into a crater. No icing or ganache is needed because the top of the cake then becomes the perfect vessel for you to pour reserved raw cake batter over the top. When chilled, the cake is rich and slightly dense. At room temperature, it becomes light and almost sponge-like. Either way it’s pure poetry when topped with the gorgeous mousse. And to decorate, go nuts with a block of chocolate and an array of weaponry. Big knives on a melted slab for chocolate curls, vege peeler for small curls, a microplane for grated. Hell, if you want to stick that big ol’ block on top of the cake because that’s how you roll, I’m all for it.


Because there is nothing in here to disguise or compete with it, it is essential to use the best spanking quality chocolate you can find. This cake demands it. Nay, it deserves it. And because you are worth it.

This is chocolate cake at its most purest. Now let us all thank the world that we live in a world of desserts. And eggs. And butter and sugar. And of course, thank Eve. Then go and bake an extra cake and pass it over to me (you know… because I kindly shared it with you and all that).


Eve's Chocolate Cake
Only four ingredients; gluten-free and nut-free
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 360g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  2. 50g unsalted butter, softened
  3. 12 extra large eggs (65g each), separated
  4. 30g caster sugar (for whipping with yolks)
  5. 20g caster sugar (for egg whites)
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line a 26-28cm springform cake tin.
  2. In a double boiler over low simmering water, gently melt the chocolate then work in the soft butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 30g caster sugar until pale and thickened. Combine it with the melted chocolate and butter,
  4. In a large, clean and dry bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks.
  5. Beat a quarter of the egg-white mix into the chocolate mix to loosen and mix until combined (no need to be gentle, beat the shit out of it). Add this chocolate mix back into the rest of the egg whites and gently fold until combined.
  6. Spoon out a quarter of the batter into a bowl and refrigerate. Pour the balance into your cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. It should remain a little moist in the centre. To test, press your finger into the centre of the cake after 30 minutes. The indentation should remain when you do. I left mine till 35 accidently and it was a little more cooked through than what I would’ve liked. It was still delicious, thanks for asking :)
  7. Remove from oven and turn out directly onto serving plate. Remove the springform ring and base and leave to cool completely. The cake will collapse to leave a crater in the centre. This is the fun part – fill the crater with the reserved cake batter and scatter with chocolate (grated, curls, you decide). Dust lightly with cocoa and serve.
  1. Recipe adapted from Eve Knottenbelt via French by Damien Pignolet.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/


{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Vivian May 2, 2015 at 08:33

Hello! I am making this for an after-work dinner party next week – could I make this the day before and will it hold up well overnight in the fridge? Thanks!


Citrus and Candy May 4, 2015 at 18:34

Yes absolutely! At room temperature, the cake is lighter and spongier but after being refrigerated, it gets a little more dense and rich (but still delicious!). If storing overnight in the fridge, I’d hold off on topping the cake with the mousse until just before serving. In fact, if you leave the mousse off, you’d probably be ok with storing the cake itself in an airtight container. Hope this helps!


Midge March 17, 2014 at 22:47

I wanna make this, it’s perfect for my way of eating. Is there a way to translate it into cups, tsp, etc????? thank you for your help. :)


Citrus and Candy April 27, 2014 at 01:06

Hi Midge, if you google it, there are plenty of great websites to convert measurements. I think Traditional Oven is one that I use to use. Thanks!


Bharati Naik November 3, 2012 at 18:47

I made this yesterday… It’s delicious… Thanks for the recipe!


Julia July 20, 2012 at 21:31

I randomly typed Eve’s chocolate cake in to google and I got teary reading your intro. I spent my adolescence eating Eve’s chocolate cake. Eve was my step grandmother and was the most stupendous cook, she made sublime cakes like this, and was totally into nose to tail cooking (before we even called it that) and her chocolate cake was heaven. Time on the farm with them was food heaven. I am too scared to make it just in case it doesn’t match my memories, But I feel fantastic reading everyone’s comments. Eve passed away 4 years ago and she would be blown away by everyone’s comments.


Citrus and Candy August 24, 2012 at 23:00

Hi Julia,

Apologies for the late reply but I can’t tell you how pleased I was at reading this. I can only imagine just how amazing it would’ve been growing up spending time with Eve (especially around her cakes!). I’m very saddened to hear about her passing but rest assured that her memory will not be long forgotten and she has left a huge legacy that we could never repay. This recipe still remains my favourite chocolate cake of all time and I doubt that would change anytime soon. A thousand thank yous for stopping by and for leaving your comment.




Emma April 25, 2011 at 08:58

This cake is fantastic, was a huge hit on the Easter table yesterday!! So easy to make and so tasty!


Citrus and Candy April 29, 2011 at 02:59

Hi Emma, brilliant work! Glad you enjoyed it and what a perfect chocolately choice for Easter :D


Baking Momma July 23, 2010 at 11:31

dear… i finally tried this last weekend. finished it ALL in one sitting. even scraping the plate where the majestic cake used to sit (for a while) before it was attacked by all those present. gonna try it again. next weekend. with less people around (which means bigger portions for me) *big smile*


citrusandcandy September 10, 2010 at 11:53

Hehe I love the way you think :D

I'm so happy you enjoyed it!


Ellen July 8, 2010 at 11:02

If I decide to bake all the batter, how long should I bake the cake for?


citrusandcandy September 10, 2010 at 11:54

It shouldn't need that much longer of a baking time since it's only a quarter of the batter being reserved. Perhaps check it at the recommended baking time, then continue to check every 5 minutes until it's ready. Hope this helps and sorry for the late reply!


Elena June 27, 2010 at 07:19

que preciosidad de tarta,,la har


Amanda June 25, 2010 at 08:00

What would be a good quality brand of chocolate to use? Any recommendations?

I'm definitely gonna try baking this cake on the weekend!!


citrusandcandy September 10, 2010 at 11:52

I'm so sorry for the late reply Amanda! Oops! If it helps anyway, a good quality chocolate should be around 60-70% cocoa content. One of the best brands to me is Valrhona but it's awfully expensive so the key is to use the chocolate that you'd love to eat by itself. But the higher the cocoa content, the less sweet it is but the richer the chocolate flavour. Hope this helps! :D


Zo Zhou June 24, 2010 at 00:53

Wowwww this cake is good! I had some for breakfast this morning – truly wonderful stuff. I accidentally halved everything except the sugar, but it still came out fabulously. Thanks for translating and having such helpful instructions. Oh, and stunning photos!


taz June 10, 2010 at 09:19

yum, I love cakes like this one. They know they're indulgent and they don't try to hide it, but they're also not scarily over the top. This looks delicious!


Sonia - L'Exquisit June 7, 2010 at 19:42

This afternoon I have prepared this cake …. it is delicious! thanks for the recipe!


Kathy June 7, 2010 at 12:57

This recipe is brilliant – we made it tonight and shared half of it after dinner. The kids decided that it was just a giant OMELETTE and thus healthy, so we finished off the rest and saved room in the fridge. Cheers!


@BettyBakeBlog June 7, 2010 at 08:17

oooh wow – delicious
i sooo NEED to try this cake.
lovely photos – i really like them too

Betty Bake


Cherine June 6, 2010 at 16:00

Irresistible!! This cake is to die for:)


Steph June 6, 2010 at 09:31

LOL at the grammar nazi. I want this cake. In my mouth. Om nom nom *buries myself in cake*


Mark @ Cafe Campana June 6, 2010 at 04:55

Very cool looking cake. Soooo much chocolate, I swear your veins would be clogged with the stuff after eating to many slices of this.


joudiesmoodfood June 5, 2010 at 17:07

WOW, WOW, WOW! Looks incredible and so decadent. I love a good chocolate cake and this looks set to top all i have tried….!


penny aka jeroxie June 5, 2010 at 13:57

NO flour and 4 ingredients? Simple even for a terrible baker like me


Sara (Belly Rumbles) June 5, 2010 at 10:40

Ohh wow how decadent does that look. Again I am reading your blog at the wrong time of the day when I am craving something delicious and of chocolate. You think I would know better by now!!!


Emma @CakeMistress June 5, 2010 at 04:13

Such sinful deliciousness without even a grocery shop necessary to put some distance between this cake and myself. Amazing!


Anna June 4, 2010 at 18:28

mmm delicious!! Ciao Anna from Italy


Amanda June 4, 2010 at 17:05

Not only does it sound heavenly, it looks like really charmer. i love the lighting in your shots. The moistness of the chocolate really comes out.


trissalicious June 4, 2010 at 12:39

Can you imagine have a cake as gorgeous like you named after you?! Lucky Eve! And lucky us for getting you to share the recipe. The pictures are stunning.


john@heneedsfood June 4, 2010 at 12:03

What a beauty! Sadly (to some) I'd have to add a fifth ingredient …. copious amounts of double cream as garnish


mlle délicieuse June 4, 2010 at 09:58

Ooohhh, this looks very nice indeed! And only 4 ingredients, you say…


Katie June 4, 2010 at 09:27

This looks incredible! I'll have to make it for my sister next time she's visiting, she a complete chocoholic so this would be her idea of heaven


Fenrir June 4, 2010 at 08:34

This recipe looks delicious.

“*Citrus and Candy would like to disclaim that licking the cake bowl is a perfectly legitimate practice and that one should indulge in this delicious act as often as they want. I.e. ALL THE TIME.”

A subscript is not necessarily a disclaimer…



citrusandcandy June 4, 2010 at 08:48

Thanks for pointing it out. My bad.


Heather June 4, 2010 at 07:43

Would anyone be so kind as to translate this into Americanese for me? I stumbled this recipe, and about fell out my chair at the deliciousness pouring from my screen. I'd make this in a heartbeat if grams made sense to my Yankee brain.


citrusandcandy June 4, 2010 at 08:53

Hi Heather,

Check out http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_mea

You can convert grams to ounces etc instantly on the site (as well as US cup measures for sugar etc). Hope this helps!


OohLookBel June 4, 2010 at 07:08

It's heavenly, thanks so much for finding this, Karen! But can you guarantee that our efforts with this cake will be as impressive as yours? I don't think so…


Paula June 4, 2010 at 06:41

wow, this cake lookd so yummy!


Kristy June 4, 2010 at 06:09

Oh yum! This looks delicious


Linda June 4, 2010 at 06:02

What do you do with the spooned out batter?

I have a much similar recipe from my mother's recipe cards, called “Chocolate Truffle Torte”. Indeed, it's to die for; you feel like eating the whole cake, but it's so rich, that you'll have to make a huge effort to limit yourself to a thin (-ish) slice.


citrusandcandy June 4, 2010 at 07:47

Hi Linda,

The spooned out batter is used to top your cake after it has baked and cooled :)


Linda June 4, 2010 at 12:36

Thanks! Must have been blind for a second.


FFichiban June 4, 2010 at 04:41

Hahah theres only 4 ingredients but dangerously high levels of each haha! Eve is genius, this cake looks so seductive


trissalicious June 4, 2010 at 04:23

Swoon – the pictures are incredible – definitely do justice to the wonderful cake this is!


Laura June 4, 2010 at 04:03

Karen, I'm seriously in love with the way you talk about food. You talk about as though it has emotion & feeling, its quite beautiful.

I'm going to try this one day, i've printed it out & I'm going to get my act together & make you proud.

Your pictures are stunning!


Sherry June 4, 2010 at 03:21

This cake is so delicious! I have been making it for years and it is really special. I originally came across the recipe called Chocolate Mousse cake by Nick Malgieri. Yummy!


foundbaking June 4, 2010 at 02:24

This cake looks so divine. Whoever Eve is, she rocks. I have a friend who is allergic to gluten… so this would be perfect for her. And boy, only 4 ingredients?!!! Can't beat that. Lovely post.


Jennifer June 4, 2010 at 01:44

How would i figure the ingredients in cups and etc??


citrusandcandy June 4, 2010 at 08:59

Hi Jennifer,

Check out this site http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_mea

You can convert metric to imperial measures instantly and you can even calculate sugar, flour, butter etc into cups and sticks. It's brilliant. Hope this helps!


Kaitlin June 4, 2010 at 01:37

Is it wrong that that “sexy-time” line really stuck out in my head? :P

Great post, as always. Very cute!


Val June 4, 2010 at 01:29

OMG! Looks YUMMY! I will have to make it this weekend – love your writing!


linda June 4, 2010 at 00:15

ahh karen i love how you make simple things look so elegant. Btw if it were legal, i'd marry many of the cakes and desserts i've sampled too =D


msmeanie June 3, 2010 at 23:16

Wow. This looks amazing. I love the idea of a 4 ingredient cake. Simple recipes are the best. Lovely photos too!


angie June 3, 2010 at 22:34

This cake definately sounds too good to be true! I'm not one to usually lick my bowl clean, raw batter doesn't seem appealing to me but I am guilty of licking my blender and pots while making soup, I mean, it was no chocolate cake but who in their right mind licks the side of a blender and their soup pot? =D
*Drool* Oh dear breakfast bar…


Betty@The HungryGirl June 3, 2010 at 21:41

OMG Karen! This loooks to die for! I can't believe there's no flour involved – amazing! Maybe even I could make this?! Hmm.. But I can totally understand the need to get a room with this baby! Woot!!


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